Giving up on rams...

  1. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    After losing my 6th ram or so over the last year, I am ready to completely give up on this fish. Their beauty is just not worth the hassle, the stress and the heartbreak of watching them randomly fall sick and die, or slowly waste away into nothing. Seems like they are just a really weak fish. Never had problems like this with any other fish, all my other fish have been by and large healthy, even when they get sick more often than not they will pull through. My water parameters are always good, I test regularly and do water changes weekly, my tanks are planted so nitrates are low...

    I have been unable to keep a ram alive for more than 3 months at a time (that was the longest, a male who randomly died after seeming perfectly healthy for that amount of time). More often than not they die within a few weeks. Either they randomly develop some kind of health problem (start breathing heavily, then drop dead days later), or they stop eating altogether and slowly starve to death. I have no idea what's wrong with them besides that my LFS may just get them from weak stock. All of the GBR's at my LFS look quite emaciated. I recently tried 3 electric blue rams which looked stronger, so far (within a week) I have lost 2 of them, the two females, and my male still looks fine but who knows, he could die tomorrow judging by previous experience.

    What are some other peoples' experiences with this fish? Has anyone been able to maintain them without problems for substantial periods of time? Am I unlucky or just a bad fishkeeper?
  2. Ap05 Well Known Member Member

    I lost a female a week after I got her. She was acting perfectly normal. Next morning she was dead. The male is still alive and well for about 2 months now.

  3. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    That's not too bad I guess, 50% so far, compared to my abysmal record with this fish. If I lose my last male I might try bolivians or another dwarf cichlid next, I do love my cichlids, but I'm just over german/electric blue rams at this point.
  4. Mattfinn Member Member

    I feel sorry for you, I added a juvenile pair to a brand new tank as the first fish a few months ago and they are very happy and are already laying eggs. Could it possibly be your supplier of rams.

    Feeling fishy

  5. hollie1505 Well Known Member Member

    I lost a GBR and two Gild Rams very suddenly quite soon after getting them. My Bolivian ram is still going strong which is pushing me to stick with Bolivians.

    So sorry for your losses.x
  6. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Yes I am thinking it is my supplier, because it doesn't make sense that my tank has been set up for over a year and I have not had major problems with any other type of fish but rams are consistently dying.

    It looks like I'm gonna lose my last male soon too, he has started breathing heavily like the females did before they died.
  7. Mattfinn Member Member

    I'd suggest maybe starting a fresh with kribs or Bolivian rams from a new supplier. Although kribs aren't much of a community fish l.

    Feeling fishy

  8. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Thanks! I have tried kribs in the past and had tremendous success, they were gorgeous and were having babies left right and centre, but you're absolutely right about them not being community fish. My other fish lived in terror so I had to return them. Bolivians I am just not a huge fan of.
  9. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Well I have decided to go with a trio of african butterfly cichlids instead of rams for this tank. At first glance they look kind of bland but they are deceptively beautiful with iridescent blue flecks all along their gold sides. They're very cute too and peaceful, it seems, they don't bother any of my other fish. Much hardier than the rams too.

    So my final stocking list for my 20 gallon is now: 3 african butterfly cichlids, 4 female guppies, 5 neon tetras, 2 siamese algae eaters, and 1 sparkling gourami. What do you guys think?
  10. Mattfinn Member Member

    I love African butterfly cichlids! I think the stocking should be fine. Just monitor the fish so that you know everyone is getting along.
    Good luck

    Feeling fishy

  11. Dempsey Dude Well Known Member Member

    Thank you! Everyone's been doing well for the last couple days.